Literature on the profitability of tertiary education indicates that university graduates enjoy better occupational outcomes than secondary school graduates. Yet, these claims are often based on simple mean comparisons of wages and employment opportunities, disregarding dropout risks, opportunity costs and field-of-study heterogeneity. This study tackles these issues by estimating short and long-term returns of the university investment in Italy while emphasizing the aforementioned aspects neglected in previous studies. Relying on several nationally representative data sources, we show that the profitability of university studies is low on average, mainly because of the modest wage gaps between young secondary and tertiary graduates. According to our simulations, the economic gains from university studies arise only in the long run, when the entry opportunity costs are counterbalanced by the higher wages. However, for Humanities this does not happen even in late career stages.

L’università conviene? : Un’analisi dei rischi dell’investimento in istruzione universitaria nel sistema del 3+2 / G.M. Abbiati, G. Assirelli, D. Azzolini, C. Barone. - In: THE LAB'S QUARTERLY. - ISSN 1724-451X. - 23:3(2021), pp. 207-245. [10.13131/1724-451x.labsquarterly.axxiii.n3.207-245]

L’università conviene? : Un’analisi dei rischi dell’investimento in istruzione universitaria nel sistema del 3+2

G.M. Abbiati;
2021

Abstract

Literature on the profitability of tertiary education indicates that university graduates enjoy better occupational outcomes than secondary school graduates. Yet, these claims are often based on simple mean comparisons of wages and employment opportunities, disregarding dropout risks, opportunity costs and field-of-study heterogeneity. This study tackles these issues by estimating short and long-term returns of the university investment in Italy while emphasizing the aforementioned aspects neglected in previous studies. Relying on several nationally representative data sources, we show that the profitability of university studies is low on average, mainly because of the modest wage gaps between young secondary and tertiary graduates. According to our simulations, the economic gains from university studies arise only in the long run, when the entry opportunity costs are counterbalanced by the higher wages. However, for Humanities this does not happen even in late career stages.
Returns to tertiary education; Italy; age-earnings profiles; Bologna process
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
http://www.thelabs.sp.unipi.it/giovanni-abbiati-giulia-assirelli-davide-azzolini-carlo-barone-luniversita-conviene-unanalisi-dei-rischi-dellinvestimento-in-istruzione-universitaria-nel-sistema-del-3/
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/868692
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